Let’s get out of here

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(Fotos: FAU/Boris Mijat, Moise Zala)

Studying internationally in Erlangen, Nuremberg and the world

Why not go see the world? Traveling is the best cure for wanderlust – and a semester abroad is a great opportunity to explore a new country, learn a language, make new friends and improve your career prospects.

A semester abroad is an essential part of the university experience for many students. Fortunately, FAU has partnerships with around 500 universities worldwide, and many of them allow FAU students to study there for one or two semesters. If you want to spend a semester abroad, start planning early because there’s a lot to consider. The first port of call should be your department or faculty where you can find out about the exchange programmes the department takes part in. You can also find general information on studying abroad on the website of FAU’s International Affairs team. The staff there can tell you all about study locations, exchange programs, and funding. They can also give you lots of practical tips that will prepare you well for the adventure ahead.

FAU is also a popular destination for students and young researchers who come to Germany from abroad. Around 4000 international students are enrolled at FAU every semester. If you would like to make friends with fellow students from all over the world and perhaps help them find their feet as a student at FAU, you can apply to become a buddy, tutor, or FAU Volunteer for Internationals.

As a buddy, Kristína helps international students when they start studying here.

Portrait der Studentin Kristína
Kristína is “the first friend in the new country” for her buddies. (Image: FAU/Boris Mijat)
When I came here from Slovakia to study maths four years ago, everything was new to me – the town, the campus, the culture. This feeling is familiar to many international students, and it can be quite a struggle at first. But they’re not alone. I didn’t know about the buddy program at the time. If I had had a buddy, I think some things would have been easier, like looking for the right person to contact when I had questions. Looking for answers by yourself is quite time consuming. You don’t have much spare time as a student when you start studying, particularly if you come from a foreign country. I heard about the buddy program later on and I thought it was a great idea and just had to take part. The programme enables me to give new students some useful tips at the beginning. I try to be the ‘first friend in a new country’ to my buddies and give them the feeling that they can ask me anything. We take part in lots of activities together, which enables us to learn more about each other’s cultures. I also enjoy taking my new buddies to popular events at the University so that they can get to know life as a student here.

Volkan studies MA Computational Engineering at FAU

Portrait des Studenten Volkan
What does Volkan particularly like about Erlangen? That it’s so international.(Image: FAU/Boris Mijat)
I first came to FAU for one semester as an Erasmus student during my Bachelor’s degree. I wanted to study engineering in Germany, as Germany plays a very important role in the mechanical engineering sector. During my Erasmus semester, I decided to study for my Master’s degree here too. FAU has a Master’s degree program in Computational Engineering taught in English and it gives me the opportunity to combine my engineering skills with computer science. Both of these fields are highly sought after in the industry at the moment and are required for solving many issues involving engineering. I am very glad to be here as everyone at FAU is so friendly and helpful if I have any questions.

In addition, the Language Centre (Sprachenzentrum) at FAU offers free German language courses that have helped me adapt to German culture. FAU and the city of Erlangen are very international which makes studying and living here quite easy for newcomers. I have made many friends here from different countries. This international flair enables newcomers to experience different traditions – I especially like trying new food! FAU is also a very social university. Several events are held during the semester for meeting other international students and for getting involved in many different organisations. I can highly recommend FAU as a university to everyone.

Silvan is studying for one year at Technion in Haifa, Israel.

Portrait des Studenten Silvan
Silvan was so enthusiastic about his semester abroad in Israel that he extended his stay. (Image: Moise Zala)
The situation changed very quickly after I received confirmation of a place in the Israeli harbour town of Haifa, my first choice of destination. I was assured from the beginning that I would be able to study remotely from abroad if necessary. But I was determined to go to Israel if it was at all possible. In mid-October I started the semester remotely via Zoom, like the rest of my fellow students from Israel, and at the end of October my visa arrived. Studying at Technion is hard work. You have to hand in assignments after just a few weeks. Finishing homework can take weeks. However, the professors are all very helpful and there is an extremely friendly atmosphere. Israelis are direct, pragmatic and open to meeting new people. They often invite you to come along with them.
Haifa, in a bay at the foot of Mount Carmel in Israel, is excellent for exploring. It is close to tourist destinations such as the Negev desert, the Dead Sea, Jerusalem, the vibrant city of Tel Aviv, the Sea of Galilee or the snow-capped Golan Heights. I decided to stay on longer and extended my stay in the new year.

Laura also wanted to do a semester abroad and has compiled information for you